DANCETTE. A zig-zag figure with spaces between the points, much larger than in the indented.
DEBRUISED. Any animal that has an ordinary placed upon it is said to be debruised.
DECRESSANT, or DECRESCENT. A moon in its wane, whose horns are turned to the sinister side of the escutcheon.
DEMI, or DEMY. This particle is always joined to a substantive, and signifies half; as, a demi-lion, i.e. half a lion.
DETRIMENT. The moon is said to be in its detriment when it is eclipsed.
DEXTER. A word used in Heraldry to signify the right side of anything. It is important to note that direction on the shield are from the vantage point of the bearer of the shield, so that the ‘right’ or ‘dexter’ part of the shield is in fact on the viewers left.
DIADEM, a circle of gold with points rising from it, worn by ancient kings as the token of royalty.
DIAMOND. The hardest and most valuable of precious stones; it was formerly used by English heralds to denote black or sable in blazoning the arms of the nobility.
DIFFERENCE. The term given to a certain figure added to coats of arms to distinguish one family from another, and to show how distant younger branches are from the elder or principal branch.
DIMINUTION. A word sometimes used instead of difference.
DISPLAYED. A bird whose wings are expanded and legs spread is said to be displayed.
DORMANT. The French word for sleeping, used to denote the posture of a lion, or any other beast reposing. See LION.
DOUBLINGS. The lining of robes of state, as also the rows of fur set on the mantles of peers.
DOUBLE TRESSURE. Two Tressures, or orles, one within the other.
DOVETAILED. A term borrowed from carpentry to show tinctures joined together by reversed wedges, which, being shaped like doves’ tails, are by joiners called dovetailing.
DRAGON. An imaginary monster; a mixture of beast, bird, and reptile. It is frequently borne in crests and charges.
DRAGON’S HEAD. Part of a celestial constellation, used by ancient English heralds to denote tenne when emblazoning the arms of sovereigns; this style of heraldry has become obsolete.
DRAGON’S TAIL. Part of the same constellation; formerly used to denote sanguine.
DUKE. The highest degree of British peerage next to the Prince of Wales. This title is derived from the Latin word dux: the title of Duke was known in other parts of Europe long before it was introduced into England. The first person that was created a duke in England country was Edward the Black Prince, who was created duke of Cornwall by his father Edward the third. The title has since that time belonged to the first born son of the monarch of England. A duke formerly possessed great authority over the province that formed his dukedom, and had large estates annexed to his title to support its dignity. At the present time dukes are created by patent, and their dukedom is merely nominal, neither power nor possessions being annexed to the title.